1 2 3 Game

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A fun game to increase focus during distractions, especially on walks

This is a favorite game for any owner that needs to help their dog keep focus during distractions on walks. This can be especially helpful for anyone making a transition from suburban to urban settings. The game adds predictability into unpredictable situations - some dogs with fear or reactivity respond very nicely to this positive and engaging approach to focus.

Let's Get Started! This one's easy.

Step 1 Start in your home, standing still 

  1. First grab some treats

  2. Say "three" then feed a treat (there is no behavior requirement -- just give your dog the treat for whatever your dog is doing)

  3. Repeat this for about 2-5 minutes

  4. Next, say "two" before you say "three" then feed a treat immediately after you say three

  5. Repeat this for a few minutes

  6. Next say "one, two, three" then feed a treat immediately after the "three"

  7. Repeat a few minutes

Step 2 Add a little movement

Still in your home, walk slowly around repeating Step 1 in motion (and on lead)

Step 3 Backyard

 

Go outside in a low distraction area (like your backyard) and repeat Steps 1 and 2

Step 4 More outdoor distractions

Go outside in a slightly more distracting environment and repeat Steps 1 and 2

Step 5 On a walk

Go outside in a slightly more distracting environment and repeat Steps 1 and 2 if necessary, otherwise just say "one, two, three" then feed

Now what?

Time to take it on the road! Play this game at different times in different locations to discover its uses. This will be so much fun for you and your dog.

What else can I do?

You can play with the timing between the 1, 2 and 3. It doesn't have to be one step per count, you can say "one" then walk 5 steps, then "two" then walk 5 steps, then "three" and feed.  Play with speed and timing!